ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The American Cancer Society estimates that every day 4,000 kids under the age of 18 try their first cigarette. That's why the Rockford School District is trying to kick the habit before it starts. All this week, District 205 and the ACS are talking with 5th graders about the dangers of smoking and why it's important to not start. Teachers and American Cancer Society representatives will present a different lesson on tobacco use every day this week. Emily Lapinsky was one of today's presenters. She says it's crucial that we talk to our kids about taking risks now.
“Peer pressure starts at a very early age, and we're starting to see kids start smoking as early as the middle age. We feel that the earlier we can educate them and repeat it and repeat it, the more they're going to say no to the peer pressure starting,” said Lapinsky.
Each lesson this week leads up to the "Great American Smokeout" on Thursday. That's when smokers are encouraged to quit for at least one day.